Today’s POP RESCUE from a fate unknown, is the 1993 second album from Culture Beat, called Serenity. Have you Got To Get this album, or is it just a Vain attempt at making money? Read on…
Culture Beat are probably known outside of their native Germany almost entirely for their track Mr. Vain – a fantastically catchy euro-dance track that reached number one in 11 countries in 1993.
However, the group did have four other singles soon after, and they’re all here on this album.
Their album opens like a trip to the cinema – Serenity (Prolog) – which begins with what now seems familiar as the THX sound before a short spoken intro (aside from this, there’s no other track under 4:10 mins)… and then we’re into that hit single.
Straight after Mr Vain, we head into Got To Get It (the second single), which continues the sound that gave them such a phenomenal success, and earned them an number 4 hit in the UK.
Fourth track, and fourth single, World In Your Hands, is a much more mellow, but this allows Brit Tania Evans‘ vocals to really shine. At times, her vocals remind me of Neneh Cherry, and it’s actually a really nice track. It stalled at #20 in the UK singles chart.
Aside from Mr Vain, World In Your Hands is my favourite track on this entire album.
Adelante! – the final single from the album in 1994, didn’t chart in the UK, although I do remember it being released. It’s repetitive, and to some degree annoying. There’s also no sign of Tania’s vocals here.
Rocket To The Moon is a bit of a filler, but it’s forgiven because it’s followed by the thumping return to form of third single Anything. Despite charting at #5 in the UK (one place lower than Got To Get It) it is a far superior track.
Key To Your Heart again turns its back on the thumping euro-dance to reinstate Tania’s vocals. And it’s a great little romp.
The Other Side Of Me and The Hurt are fairly unmemorable, but penultimate track Mother Earth is memorable. For the wrong reasons. Its strong environmental message is clear, but its lyrics are absolutely dreadful. At a little over 6 minutes, this track is just cringeworthy.
Then, for a near 8 minutes, Serenity (Epilog) plays. It’s a return to pumping euro beats, with occasional ‘Serenity’ vocal line, but there’s little else. It’s not particularly serene.
Sadly, in November 1993, band founder Torsten Fenslau was killed in a car crash but despite this tragedy, Culture Beat carried on, releasing two further songs from this album – World In Your Hands and the less successful Adelante!.
One thing to note with this album, is that the tracks are really quite long, and this makes the album quite different if you’ve been brought in by the singles, and also quite a slog. The tracks that did become singles, all received Radio Edit/Remix treatment before being released, and rightly saw some chart action, but the use of the longer versions makes it a tougher ask for the listener to sit through.
- POP RESCUE 2014 RATING: 3 / 5
- 1993 UK CHART POSITION: #13, and certified Gold
- POP RESCUE COST: £1 (from a Poundland store).